San Francisco developer nixes BIG-designed Arts Center, plans smaller project

Architecture News West
An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

An aerial rendering of the earlier design proposed for 950-974 Market Street. (BIG)

A mixed-use complex designed by New York- and Copenhagen-based Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is going to be, well, not quite as big. The San Francisco Mid-Market neighborhood has been quickly revitalizing since 2011, but the largest development in the area, located at 950–974 Market Street, has just been downsized.

Rendering of BIG's project from last fall. (BIG)

Rendering of BIG’s project from last fall. (BIG)

Mid-Market really began taking off after city officials instituted a tax break—nicknamed “the Twitter tax break” when Twitter famously decided to stay in the city. The effort has been seen as a success: many young tech companies have made the area their home, development proposals are flooding in, and a report by the San Francisco Controller’s office last November showed gains for the city reaching $3.4 million in 2013.

But not so much for 950–974 Market Street. The developer responsible for the project, Developer Group I, has told the city that the mixed use complex—with over 300 residences, 250 hotel rooms, and a connecting art space with a green roof for art groups—will now be a smaller hotel and residence.

The original central art space, with performance spaces and offices for art groups, would have allowed developers to raise the overall building height from 120 to 200 feet. Disputes over funding have caused tensions: “The city expected the developer to cover all costs, while Group I wanted nonprofit arts groups to chip in 50 percent,” wrote Curbed SF.

Still no word on what’s next. Updated designs and a revised timeline have not yet been released.

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